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Does the US concept of boundaryless career also apply in France?


  • Peterson Jonathan

    (CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3 - AMU IAE - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Aix-en-Provence - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université)

  • Alain Roger

    () (Centre de Recherche Magellan - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Lyon)


The purpose of this paper is to examine how the boundaryless career, a concept developed within the United States, also applies within a French context. To do so we examine the career histories of 30 managers (16 in the United States and 14 in France) concerning the extent of their boundarylessness. We utilize a qualitative method through semi-directive interviews and dual coding to understand how individuals approach their professional pursuits. We build upon the theoretical basis of the boundaryless career, as proposed by Arthur & Rousseau (1996) and Sullivan & Arthur (2006). The literature seldom deals with the application of the boundaryless concept within non-US contexts. Our results show that within our French population, the boundaryless career concept co-exists with the traditional career model, with indications that French managers are willing to move within a company, but are reluctant to inter-company changes. Cultural influences and social structures tend to influence this trend through legal and social statutes. The paper concludes with general contributions and suggests avenues for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Peterson Jonathan & Alain Roger, 2013. "Does the US concept of boundaryless career also apply in France?," Post-Print halshs-00872439, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00872439
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/995 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Edward Lorenz, 2001. "Models of Cognition, the Contextualisation of Knowledge and Organisational Theory," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 5(3), pages 307-330, September.
    3. Maria Nedeva & Rebecca Boden, 2006. "Changing Science: The Advent of Neo-liberalism," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 269-281.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/8445 is not listed on IDEAS
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